Dear Martin by Nic Stone | Book Review

DEAR MARTIN BY NIC STONE

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

“You can’t change how other people think and act, but you’re in full control of you.”
Nic Stone, Dear Martin

Synopsis:
Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

Goodreads | Amazon 

I am going to try and make this short and not go off into any discussions because I don’t have any intention in starting something or offend anyone because I know this book and the content is a hot topic. Being a white female I have no experience to even begin to have an understanding of what it is like to be a black male. Nic Stone created a story that allowed me to have a little more insight into what they face and their thoughts/feelings. I think it is very important, with all of the incidents and events that have been taking place in our country in the last few years, to educate and create those areas for dialog. The things that happen in Dear Martin are so real and so relevant to what is actually happening in society. It saddens me to all of the police brutality and the things that are taking place. I was in Baltimore during the riots after what had happened to Freddie Gray and that was really my first introduction to all that was going on. That is why a book like Dear Martin is so important for everyone to read and especially to be introduced to the younger generations. The topics of race and equality cause a lot of disagreements and is such a “taboo” thing to talk about. Even in the book Stone has the group of kids address these topics and much like how the conversation went in the class, that is how it is happening in our society. Although I will still never know what it is like to be in Justyce’s shoes, I thought Stone did an amazing job in really describing Justyce’s emotions, thoughts and feelings. I think this is how changes begin to be made, if someone has never gone through something, or something doesn’t happen directly to them they sometimes don’t pay attention to what else is going on to other. I was able to gain some more knowledge and insight that I greatly appreciate Stone sharing through the voice of Justyce. ( I hope this comes out right,I had a hard time trying to put my thoughts into words.)

Now onto the rest of the book. I have to say this is one of the first books I have read that is from a young mans point of view that shows them being so much more than the brooding/bad boy/ love interest. Justyce showed vulnerability and was so real. He had his flaws, but he had to deal with some real life situations and really thought about his actions. Obviously there were some problematic situations that took place and it was interesting to see how those different situations were handled by Justyce and what he shared with Martin. I really enjoyed that there were some great adults present and loved the role they played in the overall story. I did have a couple issues with the format in which parts of the book were told (I listened to the audiobook so that might be the reason) I also felt like it was too fast, there were some areas that could have been more developed.

Overall I found this to be an extremely moving book. It was a story filled with real life, relationships, hard topics and deep raw emotion. I thought Justyce was an amazing character and really enjoyed his development and his thoughts and sharing with Martin. He came to some conclusions and learned a lot. I flew through this book and did not walk away with dry eyes. This was a real, honest and thought provoking book.

Advertisements

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake | Book Review

ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD BY KENDARE BLAKE

Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Series: Anna Duology
Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2)

“I’ve seen most of what
there is to be afraid of in this world, and to tell you the truth,
the worst of them are the ones that make you afraid in the
light. The things that your eyes see plainly and can’t forget
are worse than huddled black figures left to the imagination.
Imagination has a poor memory; it       slinks away and goes
blurry. Eyes remember for much longer.”
― Kendare Blake, Anna Dressed in Blood

Synopsis:
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

Goodreads | Amazon 

So I am trying to go back through some of the books I have read and write reviews, I read this back in Oct. and figured it was time.

Kendare Blake managed to write a unique story that was dark and gory, but yet still had me rooting for character you shouldn’t. I enjoyed that this books has unexpected twists and had some deeper and more moving moments. ‘

This was my first time reading a book with a ghost that was done well. Blake did not sugar coat the death and horror. It had me yelled at the book like I do when I watch horror movies. It was so interesting to learn about Cas’s back story and the world of hunting that he lives in. I would have loved to learn more because it was fun to learn about different ghost he had hunted. I did think the way the book began was absolutely perfect and really set the stage for the rest of the book.

Cas was a very likable character and much like any cocky teenage boy. He is the lonely boy that rides into a different town all the time and sometimes makes some silly decisions. Cas’s mom was my favorite character, she was that kooky witchy type. Then of course there is Anna, who is the ghost that Cas heads into Thunder Bay to kill, only it would not be that easy for him. I thought her story really made this book, she is such a complex character and one you cant help, but cheer for.

Overall this book was dark, gory but ultimate a phenomenal original story. It is the first real horror YA book I have read that I actually enjoyed. The atmosphere was perfect and definitely had that spooky, cabin in the middle of the woods vibe. It deals with some deep issues, love, family and friends! This  book is so suspenseful and pulls you right in, its such a quick read and I could not put it down. It completely surprised me and I liked the book a lot more than I thought I would. It deals with some deep issues, love, family and friends. I am excited to see what happens in the following books.

End Of Year Book Survey | 2017 Edition


I saw this survey done by Jamie @Perpetual Page-Turner  and first participated in this in 2014 ! I had an okay year with reading, definitely not where I thought I would be but read some great books and planning for an awesome 2018! I would love to see your posts if you decide to participate! (all the graphics were taken from Jamie’s post @Perpetual Page-Turner)

Number Of Books You Read: 44
Number of Re-Reads: 1
Genre You Read The Most From: Paranormal Romance 
best-YA-books-2014-1024x278

1. Best Book You Read In 2017?
Picking 1 book is always so hard. I am going to say Haven by Mary Lindsay. There were lots that could have been in this spot and I have made a top books of 2017! I think I have to say Haven because it surprised me and was better than I expected and provided so much more than normal YA paranormal romances do.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I think the one that most fits this in Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2017?

The book that that was the most surprising read for me was Night Film by Marisha Pessl! I was not sure what to expect and had heard some good reviews but the incorporation of other media in the story and the overall feel was so good!

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2017?

I don’t really think I pushed any books on people this year.

5. Best series you started in 2017?Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?

I started quite a few series this year but I think the best one, in my opinion was Moon Called by Patricia Briggs in the Mercy Thompson series.

I did not read many sequels or continuations this year, but I really enjoyed Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

I have to say it would be a tie between Cat Winters and Patricia Briggs!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I really want to get into more nonfiction and have been saying this forever, but the 2 books I read that were nonfiction this year were amazing! Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisis Coates and On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder . 

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I would have to say Dark Matter by Blake Crouch  had me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading it!

9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Because it is so short and has such a good message/words I definitely will be reading On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder again!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

11. Most memorable character of 2017?

The character that my mind keeps going back to is from the first book I read this year, Alexia Tarabotti from Soulless by Gail Carriger. She was so feisty, sassy and a strong independent women that I cannot wait to dive into more of the parasol protectorate books in 2018!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

RoseBlood by A.G Howard .I absolutely adore the way in which A.G Howard writes! The story is so beautiful and so much life and description creating an atmosphere are put in the words.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017?

This is another book I would consider rereading, it really made me think and is relevant to our society today, Anthem by Ayn Rand.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read?

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs, I have a feeling I am really going to love the Mercy Thompson Universe!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”
Mary Lindsey, Haven

“I need to know why I’m so broken, so I can fix myself. One way or another. Maybe this place can help me do that, and then I can finally look forward to my future. Because I’m starting to realize there’s something worse than stepping up and facing your fears – and that’s living as if you’re already dead.”
A.G. Howard, RoseBlood

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?

Shortest: Alpha & Omega by Patricia Briggs

Longest: Night Film by Marish Pessl

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

I have to say that their were a few books that had some shockers, I have to say one of the stranger ones was Yesternight by Cat Winters. I was not really expecting it and I think that was why I have to say it is the one that shocked me the most.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Willowdean and Bo from Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Oz, Chevy and Razor from the Thunder Roads series by Katie McGarry.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys 

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

Wow this is hard to pick just one so I am not going to. Freddie Burkhart  from Haven by Mary Lindsay, Mercy Thompson from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and the boys from the Thunder Roads series by Katie McGarry!

23. Best 2017 debut you read?

(I am pretty sure this was a debut) The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy 

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. At times it was a little hard to follow but it was so descriptive and so much going on in a world completely different than anything I have read. 

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Adulthood Is A Myth by Sarah Andersen. I was laughing the whole time and it was so relatable.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?

Carry On Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. I read this as I was going through some things in my personal life and I was definitely crying at some parts.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy . This was one I stumbled upon and has not gotten much notice this year but was really good! 

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

I cannot think of any book that crushed my soul, I am currently reading The Book Thief and I have a feeling that this book will probably be the one to crush my soul.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. This book was so different than anything I have ever read, so definitely unique to me.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

book-blogging-1024x278
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?

There are too many to pick just one! I am going to be doing a separate post about this.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?

I am still working on getting better at reviews. I always read others and get so jealous that they are able to put into words what I was feeling/thinking so much better than myself. I really did like my Gillian Flynn| Author Exploration

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Well my most viewed discussion/non-review was 8th Annual #TBTBSanta. I really want to start doing more discussion posts in 2018.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Well in the book community I really loved participating in #otspsecretsister and #tbtbsanta but blogwise, I really enjoyed participating in the  House Cup Reading Challenge .

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?

The outpouring of support from the bookish community after all of the different things that happened in my life this year. I was feeling pretty alone and like I had no one to turn to, but those people in the online book community proved that even though we have never met each other in real life they would be there for me and help to cheer me up and cheer me on!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Swag Inspired by A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

My Books Best Friend | Bookmark & Candle Edition

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I discovered a lot of different bookish things this year! I started participating in #otspsecretsister , which has been so much fun and I love the community. I also stumbled upon many different etsy shops that sell bookish goodies. One of my new favorite candle shops Dio Candle Co. you can check out my first box from them here!

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I fell short on all of my goals, but I had a lot going on this year and I am just proud of myself of those things that I have accomplished and the progress I made. 2018 is going to be a better year.

looking-ahead-books-2015-1024x278

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?

City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett. I think this was on my tbr probably like every month. I need to get to it ASAP so I can submit the review to the company I received it from, plus I enjoyed the first book in this series so much.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?

When The Light Left Us by Leah Thomas 

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian 

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi 

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?

Complete some series and books that have been sitting on my shelf forever! #beatthebacklist

6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

I have only read one 2018 release so far and it was By A Charm And A Curse by Jamie Questell. 

Haven by Mary Lindsey | Book Review

HAVEN BY MARY LINDSEY

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Publication Date: Nov. 7th 2017

“We all hold a monster inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”
― Mary Lindsey, Haven

Synopsis:
Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

Goodreads | Amazon 

 *I would like to thank Entangled Publishing greatly for the amazing package they sent me and for the opportunity to read this book!*

A small town, an outsider and a secret that could get one killed.

This unique dark paranormal read brought to light a gender role reversal spin to the Beauty and the Beast story. I am not quite sure if this book had any inspiration from the B&B story, but there were some parallels and loosely based similarities. I was completely blown away with this story and quickly flew through it! It was layered with an air of mystery and full of secrets, some of which could be deadly.

I think Lindsey did an amazing job with the character development. All of the characters had unique personalities and really added to the overall story. With the introduction of some paranormal elements, I felt like the world building and fleshing out the overall aspects of what was going on in this town were just quickly covered. I wanted more explanation and to learn more about the background and history of what was taking place in New Wurzburg. It was definitely driven by wanting to know the fate of the characters.

Although most times I am not such a huge fan of romance and try to stay away from it, with the dark secrets and weird occurrences in this little creepy town it happened to work well for me. The relationship between Rain and Freddie was one I was rooting for from the beginning. Coming from a rough past, I wanted to see it all work out for Rain, but that is easier said then done. Freddie was the perfect female lead. She was feisty and strongly independent! Freddie did not let herself get placed into the confounds of the role of a female and proved that she is quite a badass. She has quickly become one of my female crushes and on my list of kickass fictional females. The rest of the cast of characters added to the overall story and had each of their own unique qualities that contributed to the feel and creepiness that carried the book. I had a deep love for Petra and her quirkiness!

I enjoyed the paranormal elements of this book a lot and really enjoyed what Lindsey created with these two groups that live in this town. The different abilities and powers were so intriguing and the kookiness and quirks of the characters was a lot of fun. I definitely loved the horror movie feel even though this is not a horror novel. It reminded me of the beginning of those horror movies when the characters role into this small town on the way to their destination because they needed gas or got lost. They soon find the town is strange and has a secret that everyone is in on but you. That was very much how it was when Rain rolled into New Wurzburg, the outsider to a town with its own things to hide!

The almost 400 page book just seemed to go way too fast. I felt like a lot more could have been fleshed out and explanation on certain aspects done. The end of the book finished too quickly for my liking. I had about 70 pages left and there was still so much that need to be solved and figured out. Lindsey tied up the lose ends and answered the questions I had while ending the book with a real ending, but it was too fast. Other than that the rest of the pacing was pretty well done.

Overall I absolutely adored this story and need more. It has quickly moved up on my list of favorite books. It was much more than I expected from it. The mythology was unique and it added classic aspects with new and fun modern aspects. It had hints of older stories like Beauty and the Beast and Twilight, but the story was completely its own. It was filled with fun and quirky characters in a small and interesting town. It also had some pretty awesome quote worthy moments! I highly recommend this read if you enjoy paranormal elements, mystery or romance. It has a little bit of everything!

Reading Guide to the Halloween Season | Book Recommendations

The fall and Halloween are my absolute favorite! When it comes to reading, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it in the month of October. (In my opinion) The fall season has a certain atmosphere and I believe the month of October does as well. The month of October needs to be filled with spooky, creepy, thrillers with paranormal and the unusual. As I was developing my reading list for October I thought I would give some recommendations to others with those books I think are perfect for the month of October.

Ó  Asylum by Madeleine Roux 

This was a dark and creepy story.  And of course it is about an asylum so that is a creep factor within itself. The imagery is so well done I felt like I was thereIt has a dark ominous feel to it and the creepy pictures sprinkled throughout the book help to create that eerie atmosphere.

Ó Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs 

This book is definitely peculiar. It also uses strange and creepy pictures to help tell the story. It is not dark or ominous, but very atmospheric and unique.

Ó Hexed by Michelle Krys

This was a campy story and more light hearted and fun than dark and ominous. I have to say I would categorize this more Charmed/Buffy the Vampire Slayer-esk. It was a fast-paced witchy novel filled with intrigue, mystery and humor.

Ó You by Caroline Kepnes 

This is written in second perspective from a stalkers perspective. I believe that is all I need to say.

 

Ó Odd & True by Cat Winters 

This story was absolutely marvelous and full of monstrous creatures. The two sisters grew up hearing stories about monsters and magic. It is a wonderful story about sisters and has a nice atmosphere.

Ó Black Birds of the Gallows by Meg Kassel 

A love story in the midst of mass chaos. A interesting and creative YA paranormal read that presents unique mythology and characters. It dove into the world of Harbingers of Death, beekeepers, and the hidden magic within.

Ó This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This was a dark YA with monsters, crime and murder. The atmosphere and overall feel was dark and ominous. It was also beautifully written.

What are some of your spooky/creepy reads?

Never Apart by Romily Bernard | Book Review

NEVER APART BY ROMILY BERNARD

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

“Sometimes people come into your life and change everything. You become someone you would never have been without them. They crack you open, split you apart, let light into places that have only seen darkness, but it always comes with a price: you cannot go back to who you were before.”
― Romily Bernard, Never Apart

Publication Date : October 3rd 2017

Synopsis:
How many times would you die for love?

What if you had to relive the same five days over and over?

And what if at the end of it, your boyfriend is killed…

And you have to watch. Every time.

You don’t know why you’re stuck in this nightmare.

But you do know that these are the rules you now live by:

Wake Up.

Run.

Die.

Repeat.

Now, the only way to escape this loop is to attempt something crazy. Something dangerous. Something completely unexpected. This time…you’re not going to run.

Combining heart-pounding romance and a thrilling mystery Never Apart is a stunning story you won’t soon forget.

Goodreads | Amazon 

*I would like to thank Entangled Teen and Romily Bernard for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

When I read the last page in the book I closed it and sat there bewildered with how I felt. This book caught me by surprise. It was much different than I thought it would be and the ending completely caught me off guard. It is labeled from what I have seen as a Mystery/Thriller, but I think it also falls into another category as well. Even as I write this review I am going back and forth with how I feel about this book.

I was completely gripped from the beginning of the book. It started off pretty vague and it worked because you needed to know more. I wanted to know what the heck was going on and where the story would go. It definitely had a mysterious vibe and left you questioning. The story was well paced and went back and forth between the present and the past. I was not completely sure how I felt about the back and forth, but it gave the story a slow reveal and increased the mystery and kept a fast pace to the read. There were aspects to the story that I felt went too fast or not into enough details. Trying to think back on the story about the characters its hard to remember the entirety of the characters.I thought there was some lacking in the characterization. There was definitely character development with the main character, Grace, but it fell short for the others. There is a love triangley vibe to the story. But thankfully it was not full on in your face. I liked that you learn about the characters through Grace and how they play a role in her life and finding herself.

Overall I thought this was an enjoyable read. I would say go into it without really reading the synopsis or focusing on what it is about. It surprised me and went a totally different way than I was expecting. It was a gripping mystery that at the end tied up all the loose ends, which is very important in my opinion. It was also quite nice that at the end there was some bonus material of a few chapters written from the other characters perspective, it added a little something to those characters. This book is raw, intense and very true to what happens in ones life without trying to sugar coat the events that shape us.

Anthem by Ayn Rand | Book Review

ANTHEM BY AYN RAND

Genre: Classics, Fiction

“My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose.”
― Ayn Rand, Anthem

Synopsis:
He lived in the dark ages of the future. In a loveless world, he dared to fall in love. In an age that had lost all trace of science and civilization, he had the courage to seek and find knowledge. But these were not the crimes for which he would be hunted. He was marked for death because he had committed the unpardonable sin: standing out from the mindless human herd. Ayn Rand’s classic tale of a dystopian future of the great “We”—a world that deprives individuals of a name or independence—anticipates her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

This seventy-fifth anniversary edition of Anthem, celebrating the controversial and enduring legacy of its author, features an introduction by Rand’s literary executor, Leonard Piekoff, which includes excerpts from documents by Ayn Rand—letters, interviews, and journal notes in which she discusses Anthem. This volume also includes a complete reproduction of the original British edition with Ayn Rand’s handwritten editorial changes and a Reader’s Guide to her writings and philosophy.

Goodreads | Amazon

I am. I think. I will.

I know there are a lot of thoughts about this book. It was my first time ever reading it and I did not know much before jumping into it. It focuses on self-identity and freedom in a collectivism society. This book came at a time of when I was trying to find myself again and the philosophy behind the words really resonated with me. This was not the best book I have ever read and felt like there was true character and plot development that was lacking. It was more of the underlying meaning that had me enjoying the story.

Rand has a way of turning a dystopian type society into parallels of our own society and what happens when the government has too much control on individuals. We face it all the time of being put into a box and sometimes that limits our full potential and even our passions. It happens with women, people of color, those who are in poverty. When the government tries to make a system that works for everyone and the whole as a collective it take away from self identity and freedom from the individual.

This book although short, was filled with ideas and concepts that make you think. It reminded me to be myself and be true to my own identity. It made me feel a lot of things and emotions that I was not expecting and not totally sure was the intention of the book.

You might also like:

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel | ARC Review

BLACK BIRD OF THE GALLOWS BY MEG KASSEL

Genre: YA, Paranormal

Publication Date: Sept. 5, 2017

Source: Entangled Publishing in return for an honest review

Synopsis:
A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

Goodreads | Amazon 


*I would like to thank Entangled Publishing and the author for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

A love story in the midst of mass chaos. A interesting and creative YA paranormal read that presents unique mythology and characters. It dove into the world of Harbingers of Death, beekeepers, and the hidden magic within.Angie is no stranger to traumatic events, but life has been going so much better for her, that was until a hunky boy moved in next door.

I enjoyed Kassel’s writing a lot. She uses great details and paints a beautiful picture. The way the story unfolds was a great pace although I feel like the ending was a little rushed. With 20 pages left I was unsure how she was going to wrap everything up. I liked what Kassel did with the characters and mythology. It was a unique curse that I haven’t read about before in a YA novel.

I did find Angie a little annoying at times. She carried on this whole “woe is me” a little too much. I understand everything she went though and she did have a right to some of her actions and feelings, but she really hid herself too much because of this suppose title of “freak“.I thought Reece was a great character and was really complex. Kassel did a good job at filling out his character and giving him those emotions and feelings that should be associated with someone with his curse. I also found the romance to be very typical of a YA novel. It was too fast and unrealistic. It went from a crush to madly in love in 0 to 60 seconds. The romance felt very Twilight to me. One of the notes I made multiple times while reading was this reminded me of Twilight. It just has the same vibe and a similar type of storyline.

Overall I found this to be an enjoyable and fast read. The unique mythology really intrigued me and was what sold me on the story. I loved the cast of characters and the friendships throughout the book. The reason it did not get a 5 star rating for me was because of the unrealistic romance and Twilight vibes. Although the story was different then Edward and Bella’s I could not stop comparing them and thinking about it throughout the book. The mass chaos and effects of the curse were fantastic additions that added to the overall atmosphere of the story. I recommend this to those who enjoy dark paranormals with mythology and romance.

You might also like:

Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

The Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

RoseBlood by A.G Howard

 

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord | Book Review

OPEN ROAD SUMMER BY EMERY LORD 

Genre: YA Contemporary

“You are the only person who can build emotional barriers, but you’re also the only person who can topple them. Other people can’t knock down the walls you’ve built, no matter how much they love you. You have to tear them down yourself because there’s something worth seeing on the other side.”
Emery Lord, Open Road Summer

Synopsis:
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.

Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

Goodreads | Amazon 

I am never drawn to contemporary books, but it is a thing to do in the summer and I am happy I picked this one up. It is based on two friends during the summer time and gave me exactly what I needed. This is a fun summer road trip following Dee’s music tour as Dee and Reagan work though situations in their lives while enjoying the time together.

I could not put this book down, it was a fast read and so much fun. I loved the friendship between the two girls and how much they were there for each other. They each had such different personalities and different ghost they were dealing with in their past. I really found a connection to Reagan and some of the things she was going through. She had developed so much throughout the story and it was really nice to see. Of course there is a love interest and at times it took away a little from the two girls,  but it added a deeper layer to the book as well.

The music aspect was so intriguing and nice to read about. I sometimes think that music isn’t used enough in books. Or is a focus in many books. I like that it showed some real realities that accompany the entertainment world and made Dee an actual human with flaws and a past.

Overall I thought this was a great and fun read. It is perfect for the summer time and included so many fun summertime things. The relationships were really well done and it showed all sides of those relationships, the good, bad and the ugly. I also really appreciated that there was a guardian figure present because in so many YA novels these kids run around all on their own. The characters were complex and the storyline was sometimes a little deeper than just a fluffy contemporary, but it was such a fast gripping read.

You might also like:

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson